Penn State Students Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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jbarl1
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Penn State Students Taking Questions

Postby jbarl1 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:15 pm

I am a Penn State 1L and will be taking questions continuously throughout the application cycle.

Edit: Thanks to those other students who have joined the thread to help answer questions. I appreciate your additional advice!
Last edited by jbarl1 on Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

JLR
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby JLR » Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:41 am

Please explain the pros/cons of each campus. Thanks.

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jbarl1
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby jbarl1 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:34 am

JLR wrote:Please explain the pros/cons of each campus. Thanks.


I attend the University Park campus, so I obviously know more about that campus, but I would be happy to tell you my impressions of both.

I think one of the biggest advantages of the UP campus is being in such close proximity to such an amazing research university. It provides great opportunities for pursuing joint degrees and allows a more solid connection with the identity that is Penn State. This may also be a disadvantage if one is really averse to undergraduate students or a true college town. UP is filled with small shops and bars, but there will always be a ton of undergrads around when you are not at the law building.

From what I have heard, the biggest advantage of the Carlisle campus is its proximity to Harrisburg. UP is not necessarily close to any "city" and is somewhat isolated. Carlisle students have better access to Harriburg and the legal opportunities that it affords, but I do know UP students who are willing to commute for certain things.

Both campuses have stunning new buildings and amazing facilities overall. The technology is unmatched at either of the campuses and they really spared no expense when they built the new law buildings. I really encourage you to come and take a campus tour at either place and I know that there is an Open House coming up in November.

I think that kind of gives a broad over view, but if you want more specific information about which campus may have an advantage in a particular area, please feel free to ask!

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pjo
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby pjo » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:09 am

Hey thanks for taking Q's. Just wondering if you feel like PSU is at a disadvantage to schools like Temple and Pitt being that they're in the city and the UP campus is in the middle of no where. How do you think this affects job prospects and clinical offerings? Also, how are job prospects in general for grads, where do most find work?

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jbarl1
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby jbarl1 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:32 am

pjo wrote:Hey thanks for taking Q's. Just wondering if you feel like PSU is at a disadvantage to schools like Temple and Pitt being that they're in the city and the UP campus is in the middle of no where. How do you think this affects job prospects and clinical offerings? Also, how are job prospects in general for grads, where do most find work?


I don't feel that PSU is at all disadvantaged. The university is the largest public one in the nation and therefore has one of the most amazing alumni networks available. Some students travel to work over breaks and because of the great technology that the law school has, a lot of initial interviews are able to happen over video conferencing. I know students who have jobs in places as far away as Hawaii and as close by as Harrisburg. I know people who work in Washington D.C. after spending a semester there and a lot of people are able to return to their home area to work. Most PSU grads do stay in the PA area or at least in the mid atlantic or north east because PSU is a generally regional school, but I do not feel like going to PSU will hurt me in any way when I start looking for a job.

Take all of this with the knowledge that I am a 1L. I haven't even been allowed to talk to career services yet, so I don't really have a lot to go on besides what older students have told me.

reaisan
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby reaisan » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:47 pm

jbarl1 wrote:I don't feel that PSU is at all disadvantaged. The university is the largest public one in the nation and therefore has one of the most amazing alumni networks available.
Do you know if these people are "the lucky ones," the exceptions? I just can't imagine it being that easy to compete against UPenn for jobs. In which areas are your friends, and if possible overall PSU, do people end up working? International, tax, etc?

Lastly, which program seems to be the strongest at Penn State?

Thanks a lot, a lot for your time!

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pjo
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby pjo » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:51 pm

reaisan wrote:
jbarl1 wrote:I don't feel that PSU is at all disadvantaged. The university is the largest public one in the nation and therefore has one of the most amazing alumni networks available.
Do you know if these people are "the lucky ones," the exceptions? I just can't imagine it being that easy to compete against UPenn for jobs. In which areas are your friends, and if possible overall PSU, do people end up working? International, tax, etc?

Lastly, which program seems to be the strongest at Penn State?

Thanks a lot, a lot for your time!


UPenn grads rarely stay in Pennsylvania, they go to DC and primarily NYC. PSU grads, in my opinion, are competing with Villanova, Temple and Pitt (and vice versa, these schools are peers are therefore their grads compete for PA because there is no dominate PA school: like I said, UPenn grads don't stay). It's the same situation with Duke/UNC/Wake for NC. Duke grads don't stay, and therefore the Duke network in NC isn't as competitive as it's rankings would indicate.

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jbarl1
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby jbarl1 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:23 pm

pjo wrote:
reaisan wrote:
jbarl1 wrote:I don't feel that PSU is at all disadvantaged. The university is the largest public one in the nation and therefore has one of the most amazing alumni networks available.
Do you know if these people are "the lucky ones," the exceptions? I just can't imagine it being that easy to compete against UPenn for jobs. In which areas are your friends, and if possible overall PSU, do people end up working? International, tax, etc?

Lastly, which program seems to be the strongest at Penn State?

Thanks a lot, a lot for your time!


UPenn grads rarely stay in Pennsylvania, they go to DC and primarily NYC. PSU grads, in my opinion, are competing with Villanova, Temple and Pitt (and vice versa, these schools are peers are therefore their grads compete for PA because there is no dominate PA school: like I said, UPenn grads don't stay). It's the same situation with Duke/UNC/Wake for NC. Duke grads don't stay, and therefore the Duke network in NC isn't as competitive as it's rankings would indicate.


This is very true. There are a few other peer schools and those become the major competition for Penn State grads. I know Penn State is well known for its alternative dispute resolution program and that it also has strong joint degree programs because of its immediate proximity to the undergrad university.
They just began talking to 1Ls about jobs and mentioned a lot of different areas that people have gone into. If you are interested in a particular area I suggest browsing the website and seeing what faculty Penn State has in that area. Also, check out the class options and the joint degree programs. It's hard for me to say a lot about jobs because I hang out with mostly other 1Ls and we are all in the same boat and just getting into looking for our first summer job.
There is also a prospective student open house coming up if you are able to come to the area and check out the campus.
I'm sorry if I am not a lot of help about jobs, I am very new to the whole experience. But I do feel a generally positive attitude from 3Ls who are graduating in the spring. A lot have jobs lined up and are excited about the opportunities they have.

crashhelmi
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby crashhelmi » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:03 pm

Thanks for doing this. If you don't mind, can you let us know what made you choose Penn State over other law schools you considered? Is it surprising to you, based on your experience so far, that PSU Law is only ranked 72nd considering the school's overall prestige?

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jbarl1
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby jbarl1 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:02 pm

crashhelmi wrote:Thanks for doing this. If you don't mind, can you let us know what made you choose Penn State over other law schools you considered? Is it surprising to you, based on your experience so far, that PSU Law is only ranked 72nd considering the school's overall prestige?


My final decision to attend Penn State came because of a generous scholarship offer. The other peer schools I was accepted to did not offer me any money. I also liked its proximity to such a well know research university and the opportunities for joint degree programs that this afforded. I found that the administration at Penn State was very accessible during the application period; the dean of admissions knew me by name and face when I came to orientation after meeting me once at an open house. The overall atmosphere of Penn State Law is very congenial and after my visit to the campus I knew that it was the right fit for me.

To answer your second question, yes, I am surprised by its current ranking in some respects. I do not believe that its ranking is indicative of the education that you get at Penn State (all of my professors come from T14 law schools and are very well respected in their fields) or of the opportunities that are afforded by attending. I think the ranking will rise in the coming year as the school establishes itself a bit more. Penn State as a law school is still very new and I strongly believe that it will rise in the rankings once it becomes more established. I'm proud to go to Penn State Law and I feel like having the alumni networks of Penn State itself and Dickinson School of Law at my fingertips for networking purposes is really a great tool in terms of job searching and mentoring.

masterthearts
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby masterthearts » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:27 pm

jbarl1 wrote:
crashhelmi wrote:Thanks for doing this. If you don't mind, can you let us know what made you choose Penn State over other law schools you considered? Is it surprising to you, based on your experience so far, that PSU Law is only ranked 72nd considering the school's overall prestige?


My final decision to attend Penn State came because of a generous scholarship offer. The other peer schools I was accepted to did not offer me any money. I also liked its proximity to such a well know research university and the opportunities for joint degree programs that this afforded. I found that the administration at Penn State was very accessible during the application period; the dean of admissions knew me by name and face when I came to orientation after meeting me once at an open house. The overall atmosphere of Penn State Law is very congenial and after my visit to the campus I knew that it was the right fit for me.

To answer your second question, yes, I am surprised by its current ranking in some respects. I do not believe that its ranking is indicative of the education that you get at Penn State (all of my professors come from T14 law schools and are very well respected in their fields) or of the opportunities that are afforded by attending. I think the ranking will rise in the coming year as the school establishes itself a bit more. Penn State as a law school is still very new and I strongly believe that it will rise in the rankings once it becomes more established. I'm proud to go to Penn State Law and I feel like having the alumni networks of Penn State itself and Dickinson School of Law at my fingertips for networking purposes is really a great tool in terms of job searching and mentoring.


I though Penn State merged with Dickinson, and it is not a state university. It's a private law school, right? Aren't you worried about job prospects coming out of a low ranked school?

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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby reaisan » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:50 pm

masterthearts wrote:I though Penn State merged with Dickinson, and it is not a state university. It's a private law school, right? Aren't you worried about job prospects coming out of a low ranked school?

That explains a lot because to me-- because I think Penn should be ranked higher. Hopefully, the merger is overlooked in time and the school's academic prowess gets the recognition in law that it enjoys in its other fields. Good luck to you Penn State students! :)

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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby seespotrun » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:59 pm

1st Semester 1L taking questions = 0L considering Penn State.

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jbarl1
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby jbarl1 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:49 am

seespotrun wrote:1st Semester 1L taking questions = 0L considering Penn State.


I know there is only so much I can do to help, but I actually work with admissions so I think I have some insight to offer. I don't pretend to know answers to questions that I don't have any business answering. I'm just giving my opinion and helping where I can.

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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby jbarl1 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:53 am

masterthearts wrote:
jbarl1 wrote:
crashhelmi wrote:Thanks for doing this. If you don't mind, can you let us know what made you choose Penn State over other law schools you considered? Is it surprising to you, based on your experience so far, that PSU Law is only ranked 72nd considering the school's overall prestige?


My final decision to attend Penn State came because of a generous scholarship offer. The other peer schools I was accepted to did not offer me any money. I also liked its proximity to such a well know research university and the opportunities for joint degree programs that this afforded. I found that the administration at Penn State was very accessible during the application period; the dean of admissions knew me by name and face when I came to orientation after meeting me once at an open house. The overall atmosphere of Penn State Law is very congenial and after my visit to the campus I knew that it was the right fit for me.

To answer your second question, yes, I am surprised by its current ranking in some respects. I do not believe that its ranking is indicative of the education that you get at Penn State (all of my professors come from T14 law schools and are very well respected in their fields) or of the opportunities that are afforded by attending. I think the ranking will rise in the coming year as the school establishes itself a bit more. Penn State as a law school is still very new and I strongly believe that it will rise in the rankings once it becomes more established. I'm proud to go to Penn State Law and I feel like having the alumni networks of Penn State itself and Dickinson School of Law at my fingertips for networking purposes is really a great tool in terms of job searching and mentoring.


I though Penn State merged with Dickinson, and it is not a state university. It's a private law school, right? Aren't you worried about job prospects coming out of a low ranked school?


It did merge with Dickinson, which is why the concept of Penn State Law is new. Dickinson is one of the oldest law schools in the country, but Penn State has never had a law school before. I am not worried about job prospects because I see a lot of 3L students with wonderful opportunities already lined up. With a great Dickinson network and the entire Penn State network there are a lot of connections available and people who are excited to work with Penn State Law grads. The law school is viewed as private, there is no in-state tuition discount, but the overall cost of living is pretty low compared to other places and there is a lot of scholarship money floating around.

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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby thexfactor » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:21 am

jbarl1 wrote:
masterthearts wrote:
jbarl1 wrote:
crashhelmi wrote:Thanks for doing this. If you don't mind, can you let us know what made you choose Penn State over other law schools you considered? Is it surprising to you, based on your experience so far, that PSU Law is only ranked 72nd considering the school's overall prestige?


My final decision to attend Penn State came because of a generous scholarship offer. The other peer schools I was accepted to did not offer me any money. I also liked its proximity to such a well know research university and the opportunities for joint degree programs that this afforded. I found that the administration at Penn State was very accessible during the application period; the dean of admissions knew me by name and face when I came to orientation after meeting me once at an open house. The overall atmosphere of Penn State Law is very congenial and after my visit to the campus I knew that it was the right fit for me.

To answer your second question, yes, I am surprised by its current ranking in some respects. I do not believe that its ranking is indicative of the education that you get at Penn State (all of my professors come from T14 law schools and are very well respected in their fields) or of the opportunities that are afforded by attending. I think the ranking will rise in the coming year as the school establishes itself a bit more. Penn State as a law school is still very new and I strongly believe that it will rise in the rankings once it becomes more established. I'm proud to go to Penn State Law and I feel like having the alumni networks of Penn State itself and Dickinson School of Law at my fingertips for networking purposes is really a great tool in terms of job searching and mentoring.


I though Penn State merged with Dickinson, and it is not a state university. It's a private law school, right? Aren't you worried about job prospects coming out of a low ranked school?


It did merge with Dickinson, which is why the concept of Penn State Law is new. Dickinson is one of the oldest law schools in the country, but Penn State has never had a law school before. I am not worried about job prospects because I see a lot of 3L students with wonderful opportunities already lined up. With a great Dickinson network and the entire Penn State network there are a lot of connections available and people who are excited to work with Penn State Law grads. The law school is viewed as private, there is no in-state tuition discount, but the overall cost of living is pretty low compared to other places and there is a lot of scholarship money floating around.



really? is it that great in happy valley? I doubt more than 15% have biglaw or midlaw jobs.

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jbarl1
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby jbarl1 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:31 am

I know some who are going to work in federal or state agencies, some who are going into private local firms, some who have biglaw jobs lined up and some who are going into public interest work. I don't know the details of everyone's job prospects, but I do know that I have only heard a few 3Ls say that they don't have something to look forward to after graduation and I know that those students are not in a good place grade-wise.

I'm not saying that the job prospects here are better than at any other regional T2 school. I'm just saying that there are opportunities and that people who graduate from Penn State Law generally seem to be happy with their decision to attend in the first place.

Hope that helps...

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TJISMYHERO
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby TJISMYHERO » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:58 pm

Hi,
Thanks for taking questions! I've already applied to both Penn St. and Temple. Although I'm sure I'll find out soon enough, I'm wondering if you know which school is more generous with their scholarship money? And whether you know anyone with stats similar to mine who has gotten a decent scholarship from Penn State?

163 LSAT
3.09 GPA (2.33 First Two Years and a 4.0 Since then)
Good Softs including undergraduate moot court regional champion, top oralist etc..

Thanks again!

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jbarl1
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby jbarl1 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:11 pm

TJISMYHERO wrote:Hi,
Thanks for taking questions! I've already applied to both Penn St. and Temple. Although I'm sure I'll find out soon enough, I'm wondering if you know which school is more generous with their scholarship money? And whether you know anyone with stats similar to mine who has gotten a decent scholarship from Penn State?

163 LSAT
3.09 GPA (2.33 First Two Years and a 4.0 Since then)
Good Softs including undergraduate moot court regional champion, top oralist etc..

Thanks again!


Your LSAT is on the high side so I do think you have a good chance of admission. I hope you wrote an addendum explaining the upper trend in your GPA because that would help mitigate that part of your application. I did not apply to Temple so I do no know what kind of scholarships they offer but I received a large scholarship with 3.85/160. My classmates and I don't really discuss scholarships or undergraduate GPAs and LSAT scores so I don't know how you will fare for scholarships. Keep showing a strong interest and the admissions office will appreciate it. If you have the opportunity, I strongly suggest attending the upcoming Open House.

Good luck and keep asking any questions that might come up!

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northwood
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby northwood » Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:13 pm

i cant attend the open house next week because I will be helping my brother move. Should I call and ask for a tour of the school, or will there be another open house?

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jbarl1
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby jbarl1 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:20 pm

northwood wrote:i cant attend the open house next week because I will be helping my brother move. Should I call and ask for a tour of the school, or will there be another open house?


This will be the only prospective student open house, but there will be an admitted students open house in the spring. If you want a tour before the spring then give the admissions office a call for sure.

elvenlord21
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby elvenlord21 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:55 pm

Hi,

I am considering applying to Penn State because they have a constitutional law concentration. Do you know if the concentration is well-regarded in the field? Is constitutional law a big focus at Penn St? Are the faculty in Con law pretty good?

Thanks for your time.

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jbarl1
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby jbarl1 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:19 pm

elvenlord21 wrote:Hi,

I am considering applying to Penn State because they have a constitutional law concentration. Do you know if the concentration is well-regarded in the field? Is constitutional law a big focus at Penn St? Are the faculty in Con law pretty good?

Thanks for your time.


I would not say that constitutional law is a big focus but I do know that some the faculty are very well regarded as experts on constitutional law. Penn State is not really known for any particular program at this time aside from alternative dispute resolution. I wouldn't make constitutional law the sole reason that you choose to attend Penn State, but do consider the school overall if you are interested in constitutional law and like what you can find out about the course we offer in that area. Hope that helped :)

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northwood
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby northwood » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:07 pm

I am interested in elder/ family/ disabilities law. I am especially interested in people with developmental disabilities. I havent found much information about this? How much of a focus on disabilities law does PSU have?

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James Bond
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Re: Penn State 1L Taking Questions

Postby James Bond » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:16 pm

Do you mind the Philadelphia location?




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